Seven Lions has been sculpting his brand for years. It has been one of my greatest pleasures in life to watch Jeff Montalvo grow from a basement dj, back in 2012, to hosting his own event; a sold-out Chronicles Chapter 1 at the WaMu Theatre in Seattle this past weekend. I have been to more than your average amount of shows over the last 20+ years of actively attending events. I have seen everything from death metal shows to Billy Joel dueling pianos with Elton John. I have also seen festivals such as EDC, Middlelands, Life is Beautiful, Mysterland… hell, I was survived Hudson Project where I was on the cleanup crew, yes you read that right cleanup crew for Mudson Project. At my age, with my musical bucket list ever being checked off, I thought I had seen it all. That was until I flew up to the Pacific North West and watched Seven Lions bring Chronicles Chapter 1 to the world.
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For years Seven Lions music has taken me to otherworldly places in my mind with nothing more than a pair of earbuds. This past Saturday, I walked through the doors of the WaMu Theater into the mind of Seven Lions and his team. I was shooketh. Right from the entrance, you could tell this was something special. Upon walking in the door you were greeted by the projection mapped diamonds from The Journey tour. To the right of the entrance, you had vendor booths and Merch tables. As you walked into the arena you found yourself in an enchanted forest filled with amazing trees that were made just for the event. Live painters and Seven Lions own label Ophelia inspired roaming performers, which included Ainsley Ross, the actress that played Ophelia in the official video for the Seven Lions, Jason Ross collab Ocean, walked the grounds. This is all before the giant book that you had to walk through before you arrive at the dance floor (for reference on how big this book was I am six foot six and standing in the middle of the book below.) This was hands down the highest level of production I have seen outside of a festival.
Right from the get-go, Seven Lions opened the festivities with the Observatory set pulled mostly from the playlist of the same name which was created for Spotify. I was expecting a relaxed vibe to the opening set but you can just feel that Seven Lions was itching to melt faces. By no means does that imply I was let down. Seven Lions dropped some classics that rarely make it into his normal sets; songs such as Nepenthe and Great Divide. Jason Ross then took the stage and while this was not my first Ross set, I was so overwhelmed that my jaw dropped far enough that there was a moment where I could swear I tasted a little floor. At one point, I heard Jason drop a remix of Elements that had the psytrance duo of Dimibo, who were in attendance (more on that later), jumping a little bit higher than normal. That track was just a teaser for next on the docket was Liquid Soul. Liquid Soul took everyone down the rabbit hole with an hour of heart-pounding psytrance. You may be familiar with the liquid name for he also has projects with some of the best names in psytrance ranging from Liquid Ace, together with Ace Ventura, to Liquid Hook, together with Captain Hook. It was then time for Kill The Noise to do what he does best. You better believe KTN yanked everyone back from that trance-like state with some good old fashion bass music. I have been nothing short of elated ever since the Horizon tour, the first time I got to hear Kill The Noise and Seven Lions on the same stage. KTN’s ability to utterly destroy a crowd followed by Seven Lions ability to build it back up and then take it down himself is pretty much my new favorite thing in the world to do. Seven Lions culminated the event with a 2-hour set filled with ID’s that has his fan base scrambling find out any information they can. One of the highlights of the night was when one of the fan favorite tracks Lucy was played and 10 gigantic red jellyfish danced their way into the crowd as fans cheered. The night was capped off by an encore that consisted of an unreleased Seven Lions remix of Above and Beyond's Sahara Love.
Seven Lions and his entire team are consummate professionals. I would be amiss to not give credit to the whole crew, from the laser and lighting guys to the visuals put up on the screen. From to the performers roaming the crowd to the art directors and management, and last but not least, Seven Lions and the Artists he brought on stage, these guys put on an amazing event. My tickets are in hand for Chapter II and after seeing what they did in Seattle I can’t fathom what is going to go down at Red Rocks in October! Denver you think you know but you have no idea.
Chronicles Chapter 1 came to a close. It was time to head home and rest our weary heads and tired legs right…? WRONG! Off to the after party we went! There was a mad dash to get to Foundation nightclub, where Jason Ross was finishing his second set of the night off the night as we walked in the door. The stage was set for Seven Lions b2b Dimibo. This marks the second time in my life I have seen Seven Lions perform 3 sets in one day, the last time being EDC last year. Much like EDC, the last hours of the night were spent dancing to psytrance. The crowd jumped in unison as the b2b of Seven Dimibos played their collaborated remix of Excision‘s Paradox as well as a few new ID’s. For me, the highlight of the after party was simply crossing Dimibo, one of the top American psytrance producers, off my bucket list. As tired as I am from this weekend I am sitting here staring at that EDC Monstercat Uncaged Art Car line up next weekend at EDC and there it is staring back at me Seven Lions B2B Dimbo. There truly is no rest for the wicked.
Get Tickets for Chronicles Chapter II HERE